Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BOX 11 - August 29th, 2012

We now have a walk-in cooler!!! Well... to be fair, it's sitting in pieces on a pallet but we have it!  We will be attempting to put it up this weekend.  If any of you happen to be electricians and would like to donate some time to help us wire it up we won't stop you :). 

We harvested the first of our fall successions this week.  Spinach, which you will receive in  your box, and a few pie pumpkins!  We washed the spinach once already but were hesitant to wash it again because we didn't want it to bruise.  We would recommend washing it once more!

We are still harvesting a TON of tomatoes and have been busy putting some up for the winter but our chickens have really been LOVING the leftovers.  There isn't a seed left when they are done. 


Heirloom Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
Hot Peppers
Summer Squash


Roasted Eggplant Spread:

Fresh Basil Herb Dip:
This is a blog that we really like to read.  She has tons of great ideas for gardening and recipes!

Marinated Cucumber Tomato Salad:
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into rounds
4 large tomatoes, sliced into rounds
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil strips
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Arrange cucumbers, tomatoes and onions in a shallow serving dish.  Mix oil, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl and pour over the vegetables.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Cover and let marinate for at least one hour and up to 4 hours.  Sprinkle with herbs just before serving (the leftover marinade makes a good dressing for salad greens).  Makes 6-8 servings.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BOX 10 - August 22, 2012

Box 10 means we are officially half way through our CSA season!  We hope you have been enjoying your produce so far.  We have lots of great stuff to come... Honey, pumpkins, winter squashes, soybeans, spinach, watermelon radishes, peas, Herbal Turtle's world famous horseradish sauce and more!  I don't think we'll have much for apples this year :(.  The extra mild winter/early spring caused the trees to start flowering early and when the last frost hit I think we lost quite a few blossoms.


Swiss Chard
Cucumbers (Lemon or Slicer)
Baby Beets (Detroit Red and Chiogga)
Sweet Peppers (Green or Purple Beauty)
Hot Peppers (Hungarian Black) 

Tuesday's are great days for helpers at the farm so if you are interested in getting your hands in the dirt let us know!

Also, if you would like to buy some tomatoes for canning let us know and we have plenty of canning tomatoes that we will give you wholesale pricing on. 

Your Farmers,

Bryan, Katelyn, Ayden, Libby and James
Herbal Turtle Farms


Caprese Salad

Roasted Broccoli

Purple Velvet Torte

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BOX 9 - August 15th, 2012

It's been a bountiful week on Herbal Turtle Farms!  The rainfall has been great for us, both in the garden and in the mushroom yard.  We are also starting to see a lot of wild edible mushrooms and hopefully can find a few hours in the week to go out and harvest them.  We are starting to plan our CSA potluck but have not set a date yet... stay tuned for party details!  This will be a great opportunity for you to meet other CSA members and to tour the farm and see where your food is coming from.  Plus we'll have some great food and live music :).


Famosa Savoy Cabbage

Dragon's Tongue Beans

Basil Mix (Genovese, Purple, Thai, and Lemon)

Tomatoes (Multiple varieties, see previous post for details)

Red Onions

Summer Squash/Zucchini


Black Hungarian Hot Peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers


We are already starting to get inquiries about the 2013 CSA and are currently taking orders.  If you are enjoying being a part of our CSA and it is something you would like to do again next year let us know.  We filled up pretty fast this year and we will not be expanding much next season.  We would rather grow slowly and ensure that we are serving our current members the best we can. 

Your Farmers,

Bryan, Katelyn, Ayden and James
Herbal Turtle Farms


Ginger Garlic Savoy Cabbage

Prizewinner Green Beans with Tomatoes and Herbs
(From Asparagus to Zucchini)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
about 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sliced onions
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound green beans, ends clipped, beans cut in half
1 sprig rosemary
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
salt to taste or 2 tablespoons salted butter

Heat olive oil in deep pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and pepper flakes; saute until fragrant.  Add onions, saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup water, the dried spices and green beans.  Stir, cover, and steam cook beans until nearly done, 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the rosemary and tomatoes.  Cook very briefly, until tomatoes are warmed through and beans are done.  Season with salt, or if you prefer, melt salted butter over the beans before serving.  this recipe won a prize in the 2002 Food for Thought Recipe Contest in Madison.  Makes 4 servings. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

BOX 8 - August 8th, 2012

TOMATOES!!!!!!!  We have been harvesting some really beautiful and flavorful tomatoes this last week.  We planted 5 different varieties (4 of them are heirlooms) this season and all are doing very well.  We have included a picture and description of each variety below.  We will be giving out plenty over the next few boxes but please let us know if you are interested in purchasing more and we will sell them to you at our wholesale rate. 

The rainfall has been a blessing and we are very pleased with the germination rate of our fall successions.  We should have plenty of spinich, radishes, carrots, and beets among other tasty treats to come. 


Black Hungarian Hot Peppers
Dragon's Tongue Beans (yes, they are supposed to be flat!)
Genovese Basil
Listada di Gandia Eggplant (Winona, Trempealeau)
Famosa Savoy Cabbage (La Crosse, Rochester)

We will be hosting a mushroom inoculation workshop again this summer.  Those of you who are interested in learning how to grow your own mushrooms please let us know as we are giving CSA members a discounted rate.  We will post details on this blog as well as on facebook and twitter soon.

Also, don't forget that we are always looking for volunteers!  If you would like to come out for a half day or even a few hours let us know and we will schedule something.

Thanks for your continued support!

Your Farmers,

Bryan, Katelyn, Ayden, Katie and James


Brandywine Beefsteak Tomato  Organic Brandywine Tomato - HEIRLOOM Big and beautiful! This classic variety was one of the first to bring recognition to the heirloom label. Known for its perfect balance of sugars and flavor. Dark pinkish-red flesh is smooth and juicy, so make sure to have a napkin handy! Fruits are very large, weighing 1 lb or more.

Copia Beefsteak Tomato

Organic Copia Tomato - A great tomato for farmers’ markets and a must-have for selective tomato growers. Unique fine-lined stripes of golden-yellow and candy-red make this tomato amazing to look at. Large beefsteaks average 12-16 oz with sweet, juicy meat and swirling color throughout. Stabilized by Jeff Dawson from a cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe and named in honor of COPIA, the American Center of Food, Wine and the Arts in Napa, CA.
Red Pear Tomato

Organic Red And Yellow Pear Tomato - HEIRLOOM Unique pear shape.  Plants put out high yields of perfect pear-shaped tomatoes and keep producing right up until frost.

Rose de Berne TomatoOrganic Rose de Berne Tomato - HEIRLOOM Dark rose-pink hue and well-loved heirloom flavor that is not too tart, nor too sweet. A tomato taste test topper at Phillies Bridge Farm Project in New Paltz, New York as well as in the HMS trial gardens. Round fruits are 4-8 oz with meaty flesh perfect for slicing. Soft-skinned, but not overly fragile and holds up well against cracking.

Moskovich TomatoOrganic Moskvich Tomato - HEIRLOOM High quality, early-season heirloom tomato that rivals the hybrids. Excellent producer of 4-6 oz red tomatoes in just 60 days. Fruits are round to slightly flattened with a deep red color and luscious, rich flavor. Great eaten fresh or for processing. Highly resistant to cracking, making it a great pick for the greenhouse too. Like all Russians, Moskovich can stand up to cool conditions.


Mark's Sweet and Spicy Squash
(From Asparagus to Zucchini)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cups summer squash, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced onion
1 leek, chopped
2 Hungarian hot peppers, diced
3 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper

Heat oil in skillet; add squash, onions, leeks and peppers, and saute until tender.  Drizzle honey over vegetables.  Stir in salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat, cover, and let stand 3-4 minutes.  Makes 4 servings

Easy Blender Salsa
This is Kate's sister, Molly's, go to salsa recipe.  You can substitute a pound of fresh tomatoes for the canned and add more salt. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BOX 7 - Aug 1st 2012

Things are looking great in the garden this week!  Tomatoes and peppers are on their way.  We planted most of our late succession crops and are shaping up to be right on schedule... weather permitting!  We mentioned last week that we were featured on the show Garden Connections... here is the link to the episode:  http://youtu.be/g0jicK9ZwkQ.  Our segment starts at around 11 min, 50 sec. 


Swiss Chard
New Potatoes
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Famosa Cabbage - Winona/Trempealeau
Egg Plant - La Crosse, Rochester

If you recieved eggplant this week you will get cabbage next week and vice versa.  The new potatoes are from our friends at Whitewater Gardens!

Your Farmers,

Bryan, Katelyn, Ayden, Katie and James
Herbal Turtle Farms


Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt
(Cook the Book)
This recipe calls for a lot of swiss chard.  We made it last night using a similar amount to the one in your box and it turned out great!